Homes & Heavens

Our neighborhood rouses amazing holiday decorations inspiring hope in this crazy time.

Helpful when the craziest President ever endangers our future.

What inspires people to string lights around their houses?

My favorite has its structure outlined in vibrant colors, a twinkling camel and a Snoopy dog waiting by a flashing mailbox for his Christmas cards.

About half the houses of Rountree glow in some way. A few of us meet at a local bar to bike around the neighborhood just after dusk to see the illuminations come alive.

“”Hey, my name’s Brad,” one friendly guy says as we start out. We shake hands.

Then laugh. I haven’t shook hands with anyone for months, a no-no during pandemic. No gloves, just warm human touch.

We chat on this unusually toasty evening as we ride around 20 or so square blocks. All ages, families and singles, some bikes decorated with flashing lights, 30 or 40 friendly people make the trip.

After a few blocks, I don’t know where I am. Making several turns, I feel lost in a twinkling wonderland peddling, seeing dazzling homes never noticed when walking with Cath. Lights make every place new.

We end up in Laura’s back yard for hot chocolate. We’re hopeful things will get better, that local charities can keep up with extraordinary demand and government aid will keep people fed and warm.

A few days later the Great Conjunction shows miracles do happen. Jupiter and Saturn shine even more brightly than Orion despite city lights.

The morning star of our soul comes alive in the heavens.

In a circle on Christmas Eve at our church we pass a flame from candle to candle. It’s another miracle. The cold wind dies down. Our tiny flames flicker as we sing ‘Silent Night’, yet most do not blow out.

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